Trevor Steven

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Trevor Steven
Personal information
Full name Trevor McGregor Steven
Date of birth (1963-09-21) 21 September 1963 (age 50)
Place of birth Berwick-on-Tweed, England
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1980–1983 Burnley 74 (11)
1983–1989 Everton 210 (48)
1989–1991 Rangers 55 (6)
1991–1992 Olympique de Marseille 28 (3)
1992–1997 Rangers 77 (10)
Total 444 (78)
National team
1984 England U21 2 (0)
1985–1992[1] England 36 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Trevor McGregor Steven (born Berwick-upon-Tweed, England, 21 September 1963) is a football talent scout. He was formerly an England footballer who shot to fame with the successful Everton side of the 1980s.

A right-sided midfielder with great vision and pinpoint crossing ability, Steven grew through the ranks at Burnley, making his debut in 1981. Over the next two seasons he became a regular supplier of goals and Everton boss Howard Kendall, who was building a new team based on youth, decided to bid for him.

Steven is now recognised for his media work, particularly with RTÉ Sport in Ireland.

Club career[edit]

Burnley[edit]

Steven began his professional football career with Burnley on leaving school in the summer of 1980, and broke into the first team in the 1981–82, at the age of 18, when he scored three goals in 36 league games to help Burnley win promotion to the Second Division as Third Division champions. He managed eight goals in the 1982–83 season, but was unable to prevent Burnley from going straight back down to the Third Division.[2]

Everton[edit]

Burnley accepted £300,000 for the then 19-year old Steven who joined Everton in the summer of 1983. He made his debut at the beginning of the following season, which proved a watershed campaign for Kendall's men. Despite finishing in 7th position in the Football League Championship, someway behind eventual Champions, Liverpool, the season was saved – as was Kendall's job – by two excellent Cup runs. In the League Cup final at Wembley, the Merseyside clubs drew 0–0 before Liverpool won the replay by a single Graeme Souness goal. Steven was not selected by Kendall, but by the time Everton lined back up at Wembley for the FA Cup final two months later, he was in the team.

Watford were the opponents, and Steven played his part in the second goal of Everton's 2–0 success. The controversial nature of the goal has since served to overshadow the quality of the cross which Steven delivered for it on the right touchline.

As he ventured down the flank, Steven sent in an early, high and very awkward ball towards the Watford penalty area, which Everton centre forward Andy Gray and Watford goalkeeper Steve Sherwood challenged for together. Though Sherwood seemed to get two hands on the ball, Gray's challenge certainly involved contact with his head and the goal was given. Few argued afterwards, though debate has always raged about whether Gray committed a foul or not. Steven, however, had played his part and an FA Cup winners' medal was his.

The following season, Steven established further his right-flank partnership with full back Gary Stevens, which was a strong and creative link-up. Kendall had completed his team-building process and Everton went from strength to strength, winning the First Division title for the first time in 15 years and reaching the FA Cup final again. Steven established himself as one of the best midfield players in Europe with his ability to take players on with his sublime skills and wing play combined with defensive duties when needed. The "double" chances evaporated when Manchester United, despite being down to ten men, won at Wembley in extra-time, but there was consolation for Everton when they defeated Rapid Vienna 3–1 in the final of the European Cup Winners Cup in Rotterdam. Steven scored the second goal with a crisp, close-range volley after Rapid failed to clear a corner. He had also scored a crucial goal in the semi-final against Bayern Munich. In the league, he managed 12 goals from 40 games and was among their top scorers.[2]

Everton lost the League title to Liverpool on the last day of the season, and then Steven suffered FA Cup heartbreak for the second season in a row when Liverpool beat Everton 3–1 at Wembley. However, his season ended with some joy as he was selected by Robson for the squad which would represent England in Mexico at the World Cup, and a year later he enjoy another title triumph as Everton finished champions of the league with Steven scoring 14 goals – the most league goals he scored in a season for the club.

Robson preferred Waddle as his one orthodox wide man for the opening game against Portugal, but England played poorly and lost 1–0. No changes were made, despite this defeat, and England suffered a nervy and embarrassing goalless draw against Morocco, meaning they had to win their final group game or they were out.

As a consequence, Steven got his World Cup chance as Robson ditched Waddle and went for the creative but disciplined pairing of Steven on the right and Hodge on the left. It paid dividends, as Steven combined down his flank with Stevens, as ever, to set up an opening goal for Gary Lineker; Hodge then set up Lineker's second, and Steven delivered a corner which went uncleared, allowing Lineker to complete his hat-trick.

Rangers[edit]

The time had come for Steven to move and Souness, then manager of Rangers, offered him the chance to pair up with his friend Stevens and reform their renowned partnership down the right. Offers came in from other big clubs but Steven chose Ibrox. His main reason for doing so seemed to be the attraction of European football, as the ban on English clubs was ongoing and Steven had been denied the chance to play in the European Cup with Everton as a consequence. So, after 299 appearances and 60 goals, Steven left Everton in a £1.5 million pound deal and went to Scotland.

Despite being the latest in a sequence of high-profile England internationals signed by Graeme Souness, Steven's arrival at Ibrox was relatively low-key, principally because it coincided with the controversial signing of Mo Johnston – the first high-profile, established Roman Catholic player to be signed by Rangers in the post-war period. Steven rapidly became a solid member of the Rangers squad, securing a league championship in his first season.

His form at Ibrox persuaded Bobby Robson to retain him in the England squad, though by now his choices on the flanks had ventured toward the more adventurous, with Waddle and Barnes now ahead of Steven and Hodge in the stakes. That said, Steven made the final cut of 22 players for the tournament in Italy when Robson announced it, edging out the unlucky David Rocastle.

Steven did not feature in the tournament until the quarter final against Cameroon when he came on as a substitute as England found themselves behind in the second half. He did the same thing again in the semi-final – again replacing his Rangers team-mate Terry Butcher – as England chased the game against West Germany, ultimately forcing a draw and a penalty shootout. Steven didn't take a penalty and England went out. He finally started a game when Robson put him in the team for the showpiece third-place play-off against Italy, which England lost 2–1.

Robson's successor Graham Taylor selected Steven for a number of friendly internationals but he didn't play in any of the qualifying games for the 1992 European Championships. Then England suffered an almighty injury crisis prior to the tournament in Sweden and Taylor put Steven in his squad, selecting him on the right flank in an England side which looked unrecognisable from the one which had reached a World Cup semi-final two summers earlier. Steven played in the group games against Denmark and France, both of which ended goalless, but was dropped for the final game against the hosts, which England lost 2–1, ensuring their elimination. Steven's England career ended there, with 36 caps and four goals.

Marseille and return to Rangers[edit]

In August 1991, Steven moved for £5.5 million - the joint-highest fee involving a British player at the time, shared with David Platt of Aston Villa, who had been transferred to Italian club Bari for the same amount in July 1991 - to Olympique Marseille where he stayed for one season, winning the French league title.

However, his future in the South of France had looked uncertain within months of his arrival. In December 1991, it was reported that the financially troubled club were prepared to sell Steven back to Rangers to cut their heavy losses.[3]However, he stayed with the club until the end of the season. Despite reports on 22 July 1992 that Steven had agreed to sign for English league champions Leeds United,[4]he returned to Rangers four days later for a fee of £2.2million.[5]

In contrast to his first spell at the club, Steven's second period at Ibrox was undermined by a succession of minor injuries, although they were league champions in each of the next five seasons (one of them as treble winners and two as double winners) before Steven retired from playing in 1997.

He was a regular player in the first of his seasons back at Ibrox, but managed just 11 appearances in the 1994–95 season (when Rangers won their seventh successive title and their fifth that Steven had been involved in) and with the arrival of Paul Gascoigne he managed only six league appearances. His final season, 1996–97, brought eight league appearances and one goal as Rangers matched Celtic's record of nine successive Scottish league titles.[6]

International career[edit]

A stunning season for Steven was completed when, in February 1985, he was called up by England coach Bobby Robson to make his debut in a qualifier for the 1986 World Cup against Northern Ireland. He stayed in the side for the next three games, scoring his first goal in a friendly win over the Republic of Ireland and contributing to a brace of drawn qualifiers versus Romania and Finland.

When he was awarded his fifth cap against Italy at the beginning of a summer mini-tournament in North America, he was joined behind him by his Everton team-mate Stevens, therefore transferring a successful and feared partnership to the international stage. However, Steven soon had a rival for the right flank as Robson began to explore various combinations for his wide men. Chris Waddle was a more flamboyant and explosive player than Steven (and John Barnes was similarly so against the more stoic Steve Hodge on the left flank) but Robson often preferred the consistency and team play of Steven on the right wing and he became a frequent choice as a result.

Steven scored his second England goal in a 5–0 thumping of the USA in Los Angeles at the conclusion of the summer tour. Everton were once again challenging for First Division and FA Cup honours and Steven became one of the country's most consistent players, regularly putting on a show with Everton while maintaining his form internationally when given the opportunity. In January 1986 he scored the opening goal in a 4–0 win over Egypt in Cairo and continued to be selected as the World Cup neared.

Steven played as England thrust aside Paraguay in the second round but in the quarter final, with England 2–0 down against Argentina, he was sacrificed midway through the second half by Robson to give Barnes his first run-out. Barnes single-handedly destroyed the Argentine defence but could only set up one goal and England were eliminated.

The next year saw Steven settled back into a dominant Everton side, which regained the League title with some panache. He also played a full part in a robust qualification campaign for the 1988 European Championships. By the time the tournament came round in the summer of 1988, Steven had a healthy 22 caps.

The competition was a disaster, as England succumbed to tiredness to lose all three of their group games. Steven in the squad, missed the calamitous opening defeat to the Republic of Ireland, but played in the 3–1 defeat by Holland, after which his pal Stevens was lambasted for some weak defending against Dutch centre forward Marco van Basten, who scored a memorable hat-trick. Steven stayed in the team for the now meaningless final group game against the 1–3 defeat against USSR, which was the worst performance of the lot, although he was unlucky not to give England the lead when his header hit the underside of the crossbar when the score was still 1–1.

England came home in disgrace but Robson stayed in his job and Steven stayed in his plans as the qualifiers for the 1990 World Cup loomed, edging out Arsenal's David Rocastle. However, his right flank partner Stevens left Everton to join Rangers and Steven struggled to form a similar telepathy with replacement Neil McDonald. Everton ended the season without a trophy – losing the FA Cup final to Liverpool again – and Steven wasn't called up for England until the end-of-season Rous Cup shindig against Scotland, which England won. Steven made his last appearance for England during Euro 92 in Sweden, in the 0–0 goalless draw in a group game against England on 14 June 1992. He had played 36 times for England at senior level, and scored four goals.[7]

Media work[edit]

Since he retired, Steven has worked in the media. In his early career, he worked as a co-commentator for the BBC during their coverage of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Steven now acts as a pundit for RTÉ Sport in Ireland, having covered the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for the broadcaster. He is also a regular contributor to RTÉ's coverage of the Premier League and UEFA Champions League, acting both as analyst and co-commentator. He contributed to RTÉ Sport's coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[8][9]

As well as his media work, Steven also acts as a football agent for many high profile players in the Scottish and English Premier Leagues. He also works for aviation company, Cloud9.

Career statistics[edit]

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 26 March 1985 Wembley Stadium, London, UK  Republic of Ireland 2–1 Win Friendly
2. 16 June 1985 Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, USA  United States 0–5 Win Friendly
3. 29 January 1986 International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt  Egypt 0–4 Win Friendly
4. 29 April 1992 Lenin Central Stadium, Moscow, CIS  CIS 2–2 Draw Friendly
Correct as of 13 January 2013[10]

Honours[edit]

Everton F.C[edit]

Rangers F.C[edit]

Olympique de Marseille[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Trevor McGregor Steven - International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 
  2. ^ a b "Trevor Steven - Everton FC - Football-Heroes.net". Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Winter, Henry (27 July 1992). "Football: Shearer set to sign for Blackburn". The Independent (London). 
  6. ^ "Trevor Steven - Rangers FC - Football-Heroes.net". Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  7. ^ [3]
  8. ^ Black, Fergus (2 June 2010). "RTÉ hopes Ossie and squad will spur fans to back home team". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  9. ^ O'Malley, Carl (2 June 2010). "RTÉ roll out big guns for their 56 live games". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Football PLAYER: Trevor Steven

External links[edit]